Put Down the Chocolate and No One Gets Hurt

Oh my word.  No.  Never.  Nada.  Nay.  I would never recommend anyone to give up chocolate.  Chocolate is one of life's greatest reasons to live.  Well, I believe that, anyway.  I mean, look at that abundance of beauty....the Sundae.  Then click on the link.  Happy Chocolate!

I stumbled upon Chocolate-Covered Katie in a fit of vegan recipe searching.  Seriously - if you add vegan to any recipe, someone has come up with something.  So yes, I did search on some, ahem, vegan desserts.  I have made several of these lately and am happy to say that I like them.  Now, there is a catch.

If I had found these when I was eating a ton of sugar I probably wouldn't enjoy them as much.  Sugar is a great deal sweeter and more addictive than Agave, Stevia or Maple Syrup.  Giving up my sugar addiction literally changed my tastebuds so now I find these desserts to be sweet enough, and I don't feel like I want several servings.  I didn't eat any Halloween candy, not because I am rigid about this, but because I thought it would be gross and too sweet.  It's like when I think about Diet Coke in my head - it seems like it would taste gross to me after 18 months without it, where I used to crave it and drink a lot of it daily.  Giving up stuff for a while changes the flavor of those things for me.  

When my bestie moved here in July, she and her family stayed with us for a while as they searched for housing.  At the time, she was addicted (and I do mean addicted - it took an intervention) to Diet Dr. Pepper and candy and processed food that came in a box.  After a couple of days of my kids begging for her snacks I said, "Yeah....I can't have that crap in my house."  All of the kids were whining for fruit snacks, throwing tantrums if they didn't get it, and general mayhem was ensuing all around.  So we cut them off pretty much cold turkey.  After a couple of weeks, they didn't even ask for it.  Their behavior changed - literally.  This isn't a huge revelation - just ask Jamie Oliver about food and kids.

My bestie has gone through phases where she has wanted to throw me out the window for overhauling her eating.  For example, sprouted bean trio didn't go over well at first (but now she likes it - we use it mixed with salsas and in tacos.)  She was skeptical of quinoa.  But guess what?  As of last night she has lost 30+ pounds by getting rid of these addictions.  And as she put it, she doesn't count calories or points.  She just eats food.  She didn't eat any Halloween candy, either.  For the same reason - the taste buds have changed. 

I get "the look" fairly often when I am asked about how I am eating these days.  It's that "I could never give up insert my favorite addiction" look.  Totally fine.  As I mentioned previously, we are driven by pain far more than fear of a future illness.  If someone is putting something in their body that is addictive and they aren't suffering health issues, then it is likely they won't stop.  When the health issues come is when they will want to make the change (sometimes).  I'm just here to encourage anyone who wants to give up sugar, soda and processed foods.  It's possible and you will survive it.  Just ask Chocolate Covered Katie.